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Am J Pathol. 2007 Oct;171(4):1291-303. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

p25alpha relocalizes in oligodendroglia from myelin to cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy.

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Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.


p25alpha is an oligodendroglial protein that can induce aggregation of alpha-synuclein and accumulates in oligodendroglial cell bodies containing fibrillized alpha-synuclein in the neurodegenerative disease multiple system atrophy (MSA). We demonstrate biochemically that p25alpha is a constituent of myelin and a high-affinity ligand for myelin basic protein (MBP), and in situ immunohistochemistry revealed that MBP and p25alpha colocalize in myelin in normal human brains. Analysis of MSA cases reveals dramatic changes in p25alpha and MBP throughout the course of the disease. In situ immunohistochemistry revealed a cellular redistribution of p25alpha immunoreactivity from the myelin to the oligodendroglial cell soma, with no overall change in p25alpha protein concentration using immunoblotting. Concomitantly, an approximately 80% reduction in the concentration of full-length MBP protein was revealed by immunoblotting along with the presence of immunoreactivity for MBP degradation products in oligodendroglia. The oligodendroglial cell bodies in MSA displayed an enlargement along with the relocalization of p25alpha, and this was enhanced after the deposition of alpha-synuclein in the glial cytoplasmic inclusions. Overall, the data indicate that changes in the cellular interactions between MBP and p25alpha occur early in MSA and contribute to abnormalities in myelin and subsequent alpha-synuclein aggregation and the ensuing neuronal degeneration that characterizes this disease.

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